How not to upset your teachers

Jessica Valverde

Kasey Freeman

At the end of every semester, students talk to their peers to find out which teachers are the best to take for their upcoming classes. However, have you ever stopped to ask yourself which sort of students professors would choose to have in class? Staff writers Jessica Valverde and Kasey Freeman interviewed a few professors around the campus to find out the kind of students that they would prefer not to have in their class by finding out their classroom pet peeves.

Michael Orlofsky, professor of English, was eager to share his pet peeves inside and outside of the classroom. Orlofsky gave this as a scenario. “A student comes into my office,” he said. “‘I just wanted to tell you that I won’t be in class because I’ve got mononucleosis.’ Can’t the kid just call?”

Orlofsky went on to say that it bugs him when a student enters his office without knocking. Even if the door is open, he believes it is just common courtesy to knock. He also said that students often will come to him on the last day of class and ask what they can do to get an A. He said that he usually replies with, “Son, based on the ineluctable laws of mathematics, you’ll be lucky to get a C.” However, he went on to say, “All in all, in spite of the pet peeves, I’ve got the best job in the world.”

Ava Tabb, lecturer of multimedia journalism, was quick to admit that her biggest pet peeve, and the rule for her classroom that she spends the most time reiterating to her students, is that there should be absolutely no texting or using cell phones at all in class. Tabb also expressed her disapproval for students who choose to talk at the wrong time. She said that students oftentimes will talk out of turn and that “basic courtesy is extremely important in a classroom setting.” She also said that she encourages her students to reach out to her and ask for help when they do not understand what is going on in the classroom with lectures or assignments. She stressed the importance of never being afraid to ask questions.

Govind Menon, professor of physics, was also more than happy to speak about his classroom pet peeves.  “Students tend to show up for help the day before the test,” he said. Menon encourages his students not to wait until the very last minute for assistance. He expects his students to read their textbooks and be prepared for lectures in class. Menon said that, in his classes, the good manners of the students pretty much outweigh the bad and that he really does not have any major complaints.

LaKerri Mack, assistant professor of political science, also shared a couple of her pet peeves. “My pet peeves are that students don’t bring technology to class,” she said. “It is a great resource if used wisely.” She said that students not coming to class regularly also bothers her. “Our job is to teach students responsibility and a part of that is being responsible for their own attendance,” Mack said.

“I really don’t have any significant pet peeves as long as students are not disruptive in class,” said Steve Grice, professor of accounting.

Kenneth LaBrant, assistant professor of Spanish, said he had no pet peeves at all. “I don’t really have any pet peeves because my students are of a higher caliber and they want to be in class,” he said.

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